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Extradition Defence Solicitors
What is Extradition?
Extradition is the process whereby a person (‘the Defendant’) is removed from one sovereign state at the request of another (‘the requesting state’) to enable the Defendant to either stand trial for an alleged criminal offence or serve a sentence of imprisonment.
The legal process can be a long and complicated process with the requirements of different countries varying enormously and the rights of objection on behalf of a defendant to deportation also being inconsistent throughout the world.
No country in the world has an extradition treaty with all other countries, a major example being that the USA has no treaties with Russia or China.
Legislation is defined by the Extradition Act 2003 (‘the Act’) which differentiates between Category 1 Territories and Category 2 Territories as designated by the Secretary of State.
Category 1 Territories
A territory may not be designated as a Category 1 territory if the death penalty is retained under the general criminal law of that country.
Category 1 territories are covered by Part 1 of the Act and deal with the European Arrest Warrant (‘an EAW’).
In pursuit of a successful extradition from the UK to a Category 1 territory the following steps take place:
- An EAW is submitted by the requesting state;
- A Certificate of authorisation is issued by the National Crime Agency (‘NCA’), provided that certain criteria are met ;
- The Defendant is arrested; and
- An initial hearing takes place at Westminster Magistrates’ Court
If the Defendant consents to the extradition, that person will be removed from the Country to the requesting state.
If the Defendant does not consent, an Extradition Hearing will take place, normally within twenty one days of the Defendant’s arrest.
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Category 2 Territories
Applications for extradition relating to Category 2 territories are subjected to a different process in that as both the Secretary of State and the Court become involved.
The Extradition Request must:
- state the request is for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing a convicted or accused Defendant and
- is being made by an appropriate authority on behalf of that territory.
If this criterion is fulfilled the Secretary of State will certify the request and forward the same to the Court.
The Court will review the request and, if satisfied that the required information has been supplied, it will issue an arrest warrant.
To satisfy a court, it will need to be satisfied that the Extradition Request also includes:
- Details of the Defendant;
- Details of the offence of which the Defendant stands accused or convicted;
- If accused – proof of a warrant for arrest or provisional arrest;
- If convicted – proof of conviction and sentence;
- Evidence of information that justifies the issue of a warrant for arrest in the UK
Extradition Hearing | Secretary of State Decision
If, at the Hearing the Court is satisfied that:
- the conduct described amounts to an extradition offence (dual criminality),
- there is prima facie evidence of guilt (in cases where the Defendant has not as yet been convicted),
- none of the bars to extradition apply and
- extradition would not breach the Defendant’s human rights,
the case will be referred to the Secretary of State for a decision on whether or not an Extradition Order should be issued.
As long as there are no statutory prohibitions against making an Order, the Secretary of State must order the Defendant’s extradition.
If statutory prohibitions are applicable, the Secretary of State will order the Defendant to be discharged.
The Secretary of State’s decision must be made within two months of referral, failing which the Defendant can apply for discharge , although the Secretary of State does have the power to apply to the High Court to extend the deadline for issuing a decision.
Contesting Extradition Proceedings
In the event of an Extradition Order being made, the Defendant may put forward representations to the Secretary of State within four weeks of referral to the Home Secretary, time being of the essence.
In Extradition Proceedings, permission can be sought to appeal:
- the District Judge’s decision to refer the matter to the Secretary of State.
This appeal is made to the High Court and must be made within fourteen days of the District Judge’s decision to refer the matter to the Secretary of State. However, the High Court will only consider the appeal if the Secretary of State orders Extradition to take place.
- the Secretary of State’s decision to make an extradition order.
The application must be served on the High Court within fourteen days of the Extradition Order being made.
If permission is granted, the High Court will consider the appeal as well as any appeal that was made against the District Judge’s decision to refer the matter to the Secretary of State.
- the High Court’s decision.
If the High Court upholds the Secretary of State’s decision, the Defendant can apply to the High Court (or the Supreme Court) for permission to appeal its decision within fourteen days.
An application through this route can only be made if the High Court certified the case as being one which involved a “point of law of general public importance”.
If the Extradition Order is not opposed or the appeals fail, the Defendant will be extradited from the UK within twenty eight days of the Order being made.
Kangs Solicitors are experienced in all aspects of Extradition Proceedings and we are in a position to guide and assist throughout the whole process from the point of arrest.
2 Wake Green Road, Moseley
Birmingham, B13 9EZ
0121 449 9888
9 Carmelite Street, City of London
London, EC4Y 0DR
020 7936 6396
76 King Street
Manchester, M2 4NH